So one of the things you have to do to make a blog popular is advertise and get other people to come visit your blog. To do that, you have to try things to raise awareness of your blog. That's where services like rssHugger come in. rssHugger describes itself as:
"rssHugger aims to provide blog owners with a unique easy-to-use way to promote their blogs by sending them traffic, building backlinks for search engine optimization, as well as attracting new rss subscribers if the content is interesting to the reader."
At first, they were going to charge $20 for you to be added to their network. This fee could be reduced to $10 if you were to blog about them and provide a link like I am right now. After getting some feedback from people, they decided to drop the fee if you provide a link to them. I have to admit, this is a much better idea than the original one. If they were to keep even the $10 fee, I wouldn't be writing about them now, because small up-and-coming sites like myself really have to watch where we spend our money and how we try to promote our sites. With services like Technorati and Facebook, there are many free alternatives to try out. Given that this is a new service, I'm willing to see how well it does. Since it's free, I have very little risk involved as it only will cost me a link.
Overall I think it's a decent idea. This space is kind of crowded, but now that they have dropped their fee, they at least have a chance to get some viral marketing. I tend to be the suspicious type, but if they can convince me to do it, they have a shot to convince others as well. The site is relatively well designed and I was able to find answers to my questions. The only thing I couldn't easily find was a picture I could use of theirs that I could add to my post.
Do I think this site has a chance to be successful? I'm not so sure. This is a pretty crowded space. There are lots and lots of sites right now where people go to find other interesting sites. Most of them don't focus on RSS feeds though so rssHugger might be able to carve out a niche of its own. Some problems I can see early on is that it will probably be tough to constantly send traffic to my rsshugger page (or it will be as soon as I get added) which means I likely won't be able to crack the top 100 too often. To make matters worse, if I'm up against the likes of John Chow and other large players, my site will definitely get buried. I'm interested to see how the proprietor of the website, Collin LaHay, addresses this issue. Other than that, it will be a wait-and-see approach for me. I'm not sure how much traffic a link from this site will provide to me, but if it does any good, I'm more than willing to discuss it and promote the site.
I commend him for starting something. Like Rick always likes to point out to me, it's better to do something, anything, rather than to do nothing. His goal of funding his college education is admirable, and hopefully this website will help him on that journey. We all have our Journeys, and I hope he is able to fulfill his.